B.C.'s First Family Day

B.C.'s First Family Day


The very first Family Day in Canada was first held in Alberta in 1990 and has caught on in other provinces, but is not yet a federal holiday. This Monday, February 11th marks B.C.'s first celebration honouring that new holiday.

More than 30,000 people submitted their choices online to help the government determine which Monday in February should be chosen for the new public holiday.

The main question was whether Family Day should fall on the third Monday of the month, the same date as holidays in other provinces and Presidents' Day in the United States, or if B.C. should have its own Family Day on the second Monday when ski resorts and other holiday spots might be less crowded.

Family Day was originally created to give people time to spend with their families but it also provides a day off between New Years Day and Good Friday as they are approximately three months apart.

This new holiday is not without it's detractors, however. The Vancouver Sun reported that a number of small businesses have complained about the added costs they will have to incur. The hospitality and tourism trades are singing a more positive tune. The important thing, no matter which side of the fence you perch on, is to enjoy time with your family that day. It's a perfect excuse to get out and do something fun together.

Vancouver Events


The Vancouver Art Gallery is holding a day of all-ages activities and concerts including local Juno award winners Said the Whale as well as street entertainment, face painting, a hockey shoot out, local artists and more. Other highlights will include educational activities from Science World, Britannia Mining Museum, and the Royal BC Museum. Free ice skate rentals and skating will add to the fun below Robson Street at the Robson Square Ice Rink only a few steps away. Keep your eyes peeled for your favourite mascots and stilt walkers!

Location: Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia and Howe

Time: Monday, February 11th 11:00am – 7:00pm
Please Note: For this event Howe Street will be closed from Georgia St. to Robson St. and to expect traffic diversions. Where possible you'd be advised to take public transit to attend the event. There is also underground parking available nearby at Pacific Center. The parkade entrances are located on Howe St north of Dunsmuir (just past Sephora) and also on the north west corner of Robson and Howe St with access via Robson St (across from Chapters).


To further enjoy the best that our province has to offer, and take advantage of the great outdoors, bundle up and head for the hills. Many Ski Hills are offering half-price tickets to B.C. residents on Family Day. Whistler, Mt. Seymour and Grouse Mountain are in the mix. Check out the Canada West Ski Areas Association to find out the details for each participating resort.


If you happen to have a little more money in your pocket, then you might want to check out a really neat activity at Sky Helicopters. They will take you and your family on breath-taking helicopter tours of the Coastal Mountains. The company is offering a 15% discount to all families booked for the 11th. If weather ends up being an issue, they will re-schedule for another day. Sounds amazing.


Now that we've considered spending time in the sky, how about checking out some thing closer to the water? The Vancouver Boat Show is taking Family Day into consideration by setting up for fun over this long weekend. There are 2 great locations - here's the schedule:

The Season Starts Here – Family Day Weekend

Thursday, February 7,
to Monday, February 11, 2013

BC Place & Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina

  Thursday & Friday 11am to 9pm
  Saturday 10am to 9pm
  Sunday 10am to 7pm
  Monday 10am to 5pm


The in-water venue closes daily at 5pm.

Shuttle Bus & Water Ferry Service

FREE shuttle buses run continuously between the main entrance of BC Place and the in-water venue at Granville Island Maritime Market and Marina.

FREE water ferries also run continuously between the two venues (BC Place pick-up and drop-off is at Plaza of Nations, outside #11/Gate D)

A great added attraction again this year is Duma, the wake boarding and boat driving dog!



Whatever you decide to do - have fun! Enjoy the day and your family.


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